Dave Dipert, Senior Electronics Engineer at Zebra, standing in front of two toy zebras
By Your Edge Blog Team | September 20, 2019

The Key to Living a “Rugged Life”? Taking Things One Step at a Time

Meet Dave Dipert: The Zebra Who Turned an Average Staircase into a Unique Workout Challenge

There are many times in life when “ruggedness” is deemed necessary.

For example, it takes a certain level of determination and rugged resilience to cross the finish line at the end of a tough race, reel in the big fish, climb to the top ranks of your sport or, in Dave Dipert’s case, climb an extraordinary number of stairs on a regular basis.

In the office, Dave is a senior electrical engineer, where he’s spent the last 13 years designing various components of electronics systems. That requires a special mental fortitude, which has come in handy outside of the office too.

Check out the unique way that Dave challenges himself physically and mentally to do something that is challenging even to those in the best shape in the world…

Climbing to New Heights

Every day, people climb up and down stairs without skipping a beat.

Whether it’s just heading up to the third floor for a meeting, going down to the cafeteria for lunch, or walking to your desk in the morning, taking the stairs is nothing out of the ordinary.

But for Dave, the stairs are a little more than just the average means to get from one floor to another. For years now, Dave has taken part in what is known as “stairclimbing,” an exercise method where climbers walk up and down stairs at a constant pace in order to burn calories and get a good cardio workout.

While Dave also takes part in the regular running, swimming, or other typical cardio exercises, he climbs stairs to stay young:

“I had seen some folks stairclimbing, and there was a story about a guy in his eighties who does a lot of mountain walking to keep in shape, and he looks fifty or sixty. Now it’s become a big part of my workout regime,” Dave explained to us recently.

And while stairclimbing challenges may not be the most well-known in the fitness world – and they may not (yet) be going viral across the internet – something tells us that could change in the near future once people catch wind of the “Hancock Hustle” or the “Presidential Towers Challenge.” Both sound like a lot of fun! And hard.

These challenges usually require participants to climb roughly 100 or so floors, which is a challenge for anyone – including well-conditioned athletes. However, they weren’t challenging enough for Dave.

“Earlier this year, I was supposed to do the Presidential Towers Challenge, but something came up last minute and I couldn’t make it. But I was in shape, I wanted to do stairs and Earth Day was coming up. I wanted to celebrate this great planet we live on and live life to the fullest, especially after my recent victory over skin cancer. So, I decided to try something ridiculous.”

That “something ridiculous” was a climb up 250 floors of stairs, which is higher than any building. (Are you out of breath just thinking about that, too?)

Though Dave wasn’t sure at first if he would make it, his ability to overcome other personal challenges in recent months gave him the extra motivation he needed to conquer this one. Oh, and Dave didn’t just more than double the number of stairs he was planning to climb in an already extremely rugged challenge. He did it in (what we would consider) record-breaking time, despite his late audible.

“It took me about two hours to go up and down 250 floors. I originally thought it would take two and a half to three hours because event organizers are usually reminding us to walk, not run, up and down the stairs. So, that is engrained in my brain, even when climbing on my own. However, I did two stairs at a time and came in just under two hours, so it was good.”

“Good” is a severe understatement, in our opinion. This is downright impressive!

We Challenge You!

If you’re looking for a new adventure, want to test your ruggedness/fitness level or just want to celebrate life in a new way, we encourage you to give stairclimbing a try. Just heed Dave’s advice:

“Take your time because it gets pretty intense, especially coming down. And if you’re going to do over an hour of training, you’ll need to fuel properly because climbing stairs burns a lot of calories.”

And, never forget that even at the lowest of lows, you are always capable of reaching new heights.  Dave is living proof of that!


Editor’s Note: Want to see how other Zebras are living the rugged life? Check out these stories:

And stay tuned into Your Edge for upcoming “Rugged Life” features to see the other incredible journeys that Zebras are embarking on each day.

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